”Are you currently using gray water, or other new strategies to save water in this drought? And how is it working for you?”
I have given up baths; instead, I take five-minute or less showers along with a bonny blue bucket, which is dumped when full in my (too many) large pots. I keep a plastic pitcher by the kitchen sink to harvest any water I would throw out -- boiled water from the kettle for morning tea, for example. The pitcher is then poured into pots. Fancy nozzles are now on all hoses. I drip drip drip into pots from the hoses now. I live in LA and would like to stay within the first tier of water allocation but I'm not going to make it -- not in summer. We have irrigation, most of it underground. Will I have to kill off some of the garden? Oh I hope not. (It's only a 5,000 sq.-foot lot, but densely planted.)
We've been conserving laundry water for the garden for about 30 years now and it is distributed to the fruit trees and ornamentals in the back yard. The front has been planted in CA drought tolerant natives and other drought resistant plants for about 15 years; we water these once a month during summer. The edible garden wants what it wants, but like others who've responded to this post, we've begun carrying out kitchen water in pitchers and pots. Especially I like reusing water used to steam or parboil vegetables (cooled first), as whatever vitamins or minerals shed in the process get returned to the new crop coming on. For about 25 years we've saved rainwater for use on container plants. I plan to increase the number of rainwater storage barrels this year. I plan to decrease the quantity of container plants. Yes, we take 5 minute showers. Washing machine and dishwasher are run with full loads only.
I'd been thinking about it for a long while; I wanted to sink a cistern in my yard to collect rainwater from the roof. Last year I ended up with a 5000 gallon tank buried in my back yard - it was a long process to get to that point and since the permit was signed off on, we have had one decent rainstorm - last March 2014, 3". That 3" allowed me to water my yard -at no cost- for 6 weeks. It will take an awful long time to pay off the initial cost of the cistern but it really does feel wonderful when I use 'free' water and over time it will make a difference and pay for itself.
I also bale my bathtub after a bath or shower to re-use the pretty clean 'greywater' water. The location of my clothes-washer is too 'downhill' to be able to use that water for any garden purpose....until I come up with a new plan. "Keep calm and carry on".